Can we live a ‘Freedom Lifestyle?

What even is a freedom lifestyle? I’m going to try and find the answer.

Original photo by Marc-Olivier Jodoin on Unsplash

Trawling through the Internet I saw loads of different definitions. I would say that most of them were about starting a business to achieve financial freedom. Some were about living a freedom lifestyle through travel, such as trekking or bike-riding across different countries or continents. But the core definition seemed to go something like this:

A freedom lifestyle means living a life that is self-designed. Saying yes to things you love and no to things you don’t. The freedom to choose what is going to be part of every minute of every day of the rest of your life”. (Marie Hernandez)

https://ohwhatajourney.com/freedom-lifestyle-mindset

The blog ohwhatajourney.com has a post talking about having a ‘freedom lifestyle mindset’. They use the quote above and Set out their ‘Freedom Lifestyle Plan’:

  1. Work only contract jobs – check
  2. Travel as much as possible – check
  3. Start a travel blog, build following
  4. Start an event planning business on line – check
  5. Build client list
  6. Train as a travel agent – check
  7. Get TICO certified – check
  8. Find a travel agency to work with as outside sales rep – Check

Fairly easy then! This is a plan that may take some time. But if you are in a place in your life where it resonates with you go for it.

Of course we all want a life that is self-designed, and most of us have it up to a point. We choose where we live, where we take holidays, what we do in our spare time etc. But most of us have to work to have these choices.

Everybody’s daily routines are different. For most people life is a morning commute to get to work and the same routine in the evening just to get home again. Traffic jams, a crowded bus journey, the school run. All the things that make up people’s everyday. Not much room for doing things you love unless you love doing all this stuff!

Do what you love at weekends and say no to things you don’t love? Hmmmm…. weekends can be just as busy as weekdays particularly if you have kids or even if you don’t. If you work all week then the weekends can be taken up with shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry and all that.

I sound a bit down on the whole thing. I’m not but I just wonder whether any aspect of the freedom lifestyle is doable in busy lives.

For me, as a disabled person, obviously not. If I was to say ‘no’ to the things I don’t like I’d never get out of bed! I don’t like not being able to look after myself without help (great as that help is), and I don’t like the strict routine I have but I wouldn’t be able to live without it.

I’m not complaining. Other disabled people are in the same position as me, some with many more problems than I have. Able-bodied people have lots of things in their daily lives that they don’t like.

Back in the day my husband loved his weekends, he was a hockey Dad, taking one of our daughters to field hockey every Saturday. That was something he loved. That was his day of freedom. Sunday mornings he would read the papers. That was it for him, Sunday afternoon he would work at home preparing for Monday (he is a retired lawyer).

My freedom at weekends was Sunday afternoon reading, something I love.

Now we are both retired. We should have lots of time. We wanted to travel, for us that was the ultimate freedom lifestyle. But – bang! I developed MS and it was not possible.

We do things that we love. I love writing, he loves doing crosswords. We take a trip to France once a year. He cooks nice things and I eat them!

What exactly is a Freedom Lifestyle?

I’m going to see if I can somehow get to the root of it, and see how practical it is.

One blogger (George Maszaros successharbor.com) suggested ditching the:

  • job you hate
  • boss you dislike
  • commute you hate
  • things you don’t need (de-cluttering)
  • addiction to being busy
  • relationships that are negative In your life

Not an option for most people I would imagine! Most of the research I did on the Internet focused on starting your own business to gain the financial freedom to live however you want, using words like ‘laptop lifestyle’ or ‘digital nomad lifestyle’ or ‘living your dream life’ One blog I read defines a freedom lifestyle as this:

1. an intentional and adventurous way of life. 2. the ability to do what you want, when you want, how you want. 3. a lifelong commitment to crafting and sharing your unique genius (yes, you’re a genius).

http://www.armanassadi.com/introduction-to-freedom-lifestyle

This blogger had just left a job with Google in Silicon Valley, so was clearly in a position to be able to start up his own business. He then goes on to describe how he travels the world because he can take his business with him. A digital nomad!

I even read an article in which the author suggested that perhaps, to gain the financial means to live your freedom lifestyle, you should start a business on the side in addition to your day job! (medium.com/rasheedhooda)

Not practical for most of us. Just keep buying your lottery ticket!

A Freedom Lifestyle for disabled people?

When it came to researching what a freedom lifestyle means for disabled people this focused on independent living. I soon realised that this is a completely different thing.

One disabled person said this:

It is the ability to live independently and productively in the community and to live with the same freedom of choice as a non-disabled person. So it’s not that you are living on your own but that you control where you live and have the same range of choices as a non-disabled person.

Jill Weiss

So, if my idea of freedom living is to sit alone in a cave on a Tibetan mountain meditating then it’s a no-go. Right?

Photo by Yomo Owo on Unsplash

I have to admit that it’s a good definition of how disabled people would want to live. There are many younger people who go travelling with their wheelchair and a carer, living the best freedom lifestyle they can.

So, is a ‘Freedom Lifestylepossible?

I’ve only looked at a tiny bit of what’s out there on the web and in blogs about this idea. To ‘self-design’ our own lives depends on so many things, our circumstances and commitments, money, kids, elderly parents to take care of, whatever.

For most people the ability to have a life of freedom from pressures of time, money, work would be a dream, for some people that dream can become a reality. But it surely, unless you are already financially secure, it takes a leap in the dark with no idea where you’ll land and that is truly scary. Not a risk that anybody would take lightly.

The best that most of us can do is live the best life we can through creating a balanced life of work and leisure and make it count. Self-designing our life in whatever way suits us, and creating choices for ourselves whenever we can.

I refuse to use the term ‘work-life balance’ – it’s been worn out. Maybe a ‘freedom lifestyle’ is better!

Photo by Collins Lasulie on Unsplash

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